Queens, NY asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Can I sue in small claims court if my landlord doesn’t return the flooding assistance application back to me?

Due to hurricane Ida, our 3 bedroom basement apartment got flooded. Because of this we were forced to stay in a hotel for 2 nights, which the landlord agreed to discount from the rent. When we got back to the apt we noticed the walls were damaged, and so was our furniture. Because it’s a basement, due to the humidity mold started growing. The mold formed on the walls and in our furniture. We got an application from 311 to help us replace the furniture but needed a letter from the landlord explaining the situation and damages. The landlord agreed to give us the letter and we gave them the application but they have not returned it. A few weeks later a pipe in the 1st floor burst at 3 am and water started coming from the ceilings. Again, more of our furniture was damaged, including our fridge. We have since moved out due to the unsanitary conditions as I am pregnant. The landlord and their agent have failed to return us the letter and application. Can I sue them for the damages instead?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Small Claims Court can award monetary damages but does not have the authority to issue injunctive relief, which must be sought in NY Supreme Court.

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